Gunmen in military uniforms shot dead a governor and five civilians on Saturday as the provincial leader met villagers at his home in the central Philippines, in the latest brazen attack on local politicians in the country, police said.

At least six men armed with assault rifles and dressed in military-style camouflage and body armor got out of three pickup trucks and opened fire on Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, hitting him and at least five other people in front of his home in the city of Pamplona. . The province has a history of violent political rivalries.

Pamplona mayor Janice Degamo, wife of the slain governor, said in a Facebook video that the five villagers were also killed.

She demanded justice, saying that her husband “did not deserve that kind of death. She was serving the constituents on a Saturday along with the department heads.”

A total of 10 suspects were seen fleeing the scene and then abandoned the vans, police said. Police set up security checkpoints and launched a province-wide search for the suspects.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the mid-morning attack, which took place as impoverished villagers gathered outside Degamo’s house to seek medical and other help.

“My government will not rest until we have brought to justice the perpetrators of this cowardly and heinous crime,” Marcos said in a statement.

Marcos said without elaborating that authorities had collected «a lot of information and now they have a clear direction on how to proceed to bring those responsible for this murder to justice.» He addressed the mastermind and the killers, saying: “We will find them. If you give up now, it will be your best option.”

Degamo’s murder underscores that even local politicians are not immune to the high-profile gun violence that has persisted despite the government’s promise to combat it.

Last month, Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. of the southern province of Lanao del Sur was wounded and four of his bodyguards were killed in an attack on his convoy. Police said he killed one of the suspects in a confrontation.

In another recent attack, unidentified men reportedly dressed in police uniforms shot at the van of the deputy mayor of the northern city of Aparri, Rommel Alameda, killing him and five colleagues in the northern province of Nueva Vizcaya. The suspects remain at large.

Crime, decades-old Muslim and communist rebellions and other security concerns are some of the main problems inherited by Marcos, who took office in June last year.

Por admin